The most frustrating thing about my job as a writer is when I’ve put a lot of work into a MS, I hand it in for final edits, the machine stops turning, and the MS is bounced back to me covered in virtual red pen and editorial marks. I was so sure I had it nailed.
No, really. I was sure.
No… okay, fine, I knew there was an issue with some of the story and I just didn’t know to what extent until it was pointed out to me. ::sigh::
There was a lot of stuff that I didn’t explain that would leave the uninformed reader scratching their heads and the reader who has experience with the subject matter asking really good questions. The main question being (since this whole novel happens in such a short time frame) how well Amy and Eric really know one another especially after the arson incident, another question being does Paul really get what he deserves? Which I think I’m going to argue this point with my editor because I really don’t think Paul is stupid enough to take on two guys bigger than him and both Brad and Eric aren’t brawling types – they have self control. One of my beta’s brought up a really good point that Emily’s back story is lacking as well. When I wrote the book I probably should have extended the time frame (I don’t know if that can be fixed without a complete rewrite).
There are also questions about Brad and Eric’s experience that crop up (I’ve fixed that), questions about Eric’s psyche and why he’s so willing to accept Amy into his life (all I can think is he’s finally ready to embark on another relationship). There are even missing pieces to Amy’s puzzle that my editor brought up like, “Don’t women who shut down like that have a history of it? How did it manifest before? What caused it to begin with?” All questions I should have answered in the course of telling the story and I didn’t because of the length constraint (I was thinking in my mind novella when clearly this story is bordering short novel at this point).
Of course at the moment I don’t think length is any longer an issue, so there’s really no reason for me not to go through and at least try to answer all these questions to give the reader more background and hence more understanding of the events and the character reactions to them.
I may even see if I can extend the time frame a little and stretch it out more without doing a complete rewrite. We’ll see. I’m going to add in five interesting conversations I wrote to see how far they go in fixing the issues and then I’ll decide where to go from there. My editor is still really excited about the story and dying to get it into print. He’s also really excited about the next book that tells the story of Eric and Amy’s friends Brad and Kali. The first readers have given it a very positive response so far (minus some caveats).
Who knows – maybe this one will be my best novella (or novel?) yet. Already started on MNE (the next novella) and I really am working on the next OTS mystery.
Oh, Amy, why did you insist on surpassing 45K? Why? ::sigh::